The nineteenth century tenement house was originally an example of formalism. The single-family house – the villa – was the normative bourgeois dwelling. All other types of dwelling in the large towns were seen in relation to the ideal perception of the single-family house. Even artistic expressions of the more basic tenement houses strove to imbue something of the charm of the middle-class villa. This found expression in the location of the tenement house, its architectural design and its façade ornamentation. It was to the façades of tenement houses that nineteenth-century architects and contractors devoted most work, and the façades that have attracted most attention among architectural researchers. Every tenement house reflected a strict social hierarchy, although small-scale social segregation during the course of the nineteenth century made way for large-scale urban segregation, where each city district had its more or less express social status. 1